A-Bomb on Broadway

A-Bomb on Broadway from 1121 Collective is described as ‘a decade spanning, post-apocalyptic epic charting the memories and dreams of individuals as the world burns’ and a ‘journey into the fractured minds of a doomed generation’.

As a piece of performance it’s well staged, with impressive movement and clever use of simple props.  The cast of four are excellent, both when working together, and in delivering their own monologues.  The whole feeling of the production is strong.  More use could have been made of sound to more strikingly evoke locations and memories, and lighting is effective.

But it is with the dialogue that the play comes unstuck.  There are two distinct halves.  That part of the dialogue that deals with memories and dreams, and the ‘fractured minds of a doomed generation’, is very impressive.  The ideas are clever, the visual images strong, and the characters convincing and interesting, albeit the repetitive use of stock phrases starts to grate after a while.

But on the other side, the dialogue that deals with the post-apocalypse is unconvincing, unimaginative and just naive at times.  If this is what the writer thinks war is going to be like, in effect a video game without any real feelings of terror or loss of personal dignity, then this is a mistake.   More significantly in terms of the structure of the play, there is such a missed opportunity to balance the harshness and violence of war with both the idealistic memories and the idea that our minds are fractured now.

So worth seeing, well presented but the script is ultimately flawed.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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